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Tuesday, 10 July 2012 17:16

Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Full Cast and Creative for A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY




Williamstown, MA (7/10/2012) – Williamstown Theatre Festival Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced today the full cast and creative team for A Month in the Country, the last Main Stage production of the season which will be presented from August 1 through August 19 (opening August 2).  The cast began rehearsals today on the idyllic Williams College campus in preparation for their run in the Festival’s 2012 season.

{module ad_left_body}A Month in the Country by Ivan Turgenev will be presented with a World Premiere Translation by Richard Nelson and Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.  Nelson also directs.  The cast includes Parker Bell-Devaney as Kolya, Charlotte Bydwell (WTF’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Vera Alexandrovna, Louis Cancelmi (WTF’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Arkady Sergeich Islaev, Julian Cihi (WTF’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Alexei Nikolaevich Belyaev, Jessica Collins (Broadway’s Les Liasons Dangereuses) as Natalya Petrovna, Sean Cullen (South Pacific, WTF’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Ignaty Ilyich Shpigelsky, Harry Ford as Matvei, Kate Kearney-Patch (As It Is In Heaven) as Anna Semyonovna Islaeva, Paul Anthony McGrane (WTF’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Afanasy Ivanovich Bolshintsov, Jeremy Strong (CBS’s “The Good Wife,” former WTF Non-Equity Company) as Mikhail Alexandrych Rakitin, and Elizabeth Waterston (Classic Stage Company’s The Cherry Orchard, former WTF Non-Equity Company) as Lizaveta Bogdanovna.

“This is an exceptional production for us on so many levels” said Jenny Gersten on the first day of rehearsals.  “This translation is momentous as it marks the first foray into dramatic writing by the renowned Pevears.  They have chosen to collaborate with the incomparable Richard Nelson, who has been a WTF playwright and director over five decades.  And their work together is a revelation, and as such, it is being produced in revelatory fashion.  We are completely re-inventing the way we produce in the Main Stage for A Month in the County."  She further explained that the first four rows of the Main Stage will be removed in order to bring the playing space out into the middle of the auditorium, and dozens of microphones will be positioned above the stage, in order to create a far more naturalistic relationship between the audience and the performers. 

Director Richard Nelson added, "This is an extraordinarily intimate play; the audience should feel they are in the same room as the characters, breathing the same air, almost as if they've been allowed into the characters' minds. So we're building our stage out into the audience, and using a sound design that will allow intimate conversations to be overheard, and intimate scenes to be experienced as if peered through a window, or a keyhole."

Settled into a life of sylvan contentment, 29-year-old Natalya (Collins) falls under the influence of a force she has never known before: desire. Without warning, her simple, predictable world is irrevocably changed and she is torn between moral responsibility and uncontrollable passion. Both psychologically compelling and emotionally raw, this production heightens the Festival's tradition of beautifully acted works of Russian drama with innovations in scenic and sound design to create a one-of-a-kind, intimate experience unlike anything previously presented on the WTF Main Stage. This revelatory new translation of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country marks the first collaboration between playwright Richard Nelson and Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the foremost contemporary translators of classic Russian literature including the best-selling Oprah's Book Club selection, Anna Karenina.

The creative team includes Takeshi Kata (Scenic Design), Susan Hilferty (Costume Design), Japhy Weidman (Lighting Design), and Drew Levy (Sound Design). Eileen Ryan Kelly is the Production Stage Manager.

As previously announced, the complete 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival season runs from June 26 – August 19, 2012 and includes Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a Preview Production of the new musical Far From Heaven, and a new translation of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Countryon the Main Stage, with Lucy Boyle’s The Blue Deep, Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, and Katori Hall’s WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! on the Nikos Stage.   The season also included a special workshop production of David Byrne’s Here Lies Love, which played at nearby MASS MoCA.


Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America's finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to one of the nation’s top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.


Tickets to the Williamstown Theatre Festival may be purchased online (, by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.

The Festival's Nikos Stage is an intimate 173-seat venue that regularly sells out in advance from within the pool of Festival donors.




The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by David Hyde Pierce

June 26 – July 14, 2012

Far From Heaven

Book by Richard Greenberg

Music by Scott Frankel

Lyrics by Michael Korie

Directed by Michael Greif

July 19 – 29, 2012

A Month in the Country

By Ivan Turgenev

Translated byRichard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Directed by Richard Nelson

August 1 – 19, 2012


The Blue Deep

By Lucy Boyle

Directed by Bob Balaban

June 27 – July 8, 2012

Last of the Red Hot Lovers

By Neil Simon

Directed by Jessica Stone

July 11 – 22, 2012

The Elephant Man

By Bernard Pomerance

Directed by Scott Ellis

July 25 – August 5, 2012


By Katori Hall

Directed by May Adrales

August 8 – 19, 2012



Here Lies Love

Written by David Byrne

Music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim

Directed by Alex Timbers

June 20 – 24, 2012


At Poker Flats

The Valley of Fear

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Steve Lawson

Directed by Lila Neugebauer

July 11 – 14, July 17 – 20, 2012

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:50